The FBI announced earlier this week that it has identified who was behind the 1990 art heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but–spoiler alert–the Feds aren’t naming names, and the statute of limitations has run out on the crime, so the creeps that swiped masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas can’t be prosecuted. This may or not explain why Rick Abbath, one of the night watchmen on duty the evening of the crime 23 years ago, has decided to get chatty. In a segment (below) that aired this week on Anderson Cooper 360°, CNN’s Randi Kaye spoke with Abbath about what happened inside the museum that fateful night. Kaye takes a closer look at the famous caper in 81 Minutes: Inside the Greatest Art Heist in History, a documentary that airs on CNN tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Art21′s year-long celebration of having profiled 100–count them!–artists on its its PBS Series Art in the Twenty First-Century rolls on, and with it come journeys into the vault for footage that never made it to air. The latest is this archival gem, filmed in 2002, in which Martin Puryear discusses his interest in printmaking and how the directness of the process contrasts with the accretive approach he takes with sculpture. Watch Puryear at work at Berkeley’s Paulson Bott Press, where he employs skills he learned as a student at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, and see how the ideas explored in his sculptures manifest themselves on the page.
The Science Channel, our source for the highly unscientific adventures of misanthropic savant Karl Pilkington, has marshaled the forces of CGI animation for Strip the City. The new six-part series aims to “strip major cities naked of their steel, concrete, air, ocean, and bedrock–layer by layer, act by act–to explore their hidden infrastructure and solve key mysteries surrounding their origins, geology, archaeology, industry, weather, and engineering.” First up on the stripping block (pole?) is San Francisco, where thare’s fire-fighting water in them thar valleys. Take a sip of your urbane beverage every time someone says “plate tectonics.” Watch a clip below and tune in to Science on Tuesday nights for new episodes that will dramatically dislodge the infrastructure of the likes of Sydney, London, and Toronto.
This year our friends at Art21 are celebrating the big 100–that’s how many artists have appeared to date on its PBS Series Art in the Twenty First-Century, first broadcast in 2002. From Richard Serra talking tools in his Manhattan studio (from 2000, below) to Sarah Sze (artist #100, she’ll represent the United States later this year at the Venice Biennale) on the importance of improvisation and spontaneity during her installation process, the profiled artists are celebrated on Art21′s new “100 Artists” page–sortable by artist face, name, or order of appearance on the show. No word yet on who made the cut for season seven, but in the meantime, Art21 promises to release previously unpublished content from its archive as well as new material produced in collaboration with the artists–think films, interviews, artworks, and reading lists–throughout 2013.
In a recent 60 Minutes segment, Charlie Rose and producer Katherine Davis profiled IDEO co-founder David Kelley (and revealed that even Steve Jobs himself struggled in getting AT&T to activate one of the first iPhones). This part of the piece, in which Rose pays a visit to Kelley’s Ettore Sottsass-designed home near Palo Alto, ended up on the cutting room floor, but CBS has released it as an online extra. “It’s supposed to be a humble, private house, where you don’t make a big deal out of it,” Kelley tells Rose. “That’s why it’s so plain on the front.” Sottsass studded the living room with bluish green boxes, to break up the space and make it more cozy. Here, Kelley reveals what’s inside them. Plus, his teenage daughter has an entire little (Monopoly-style) house to herself. Notes Kelley, “Ettore thought that if you were a kid you should have your own house rather than your own room.”
Vogue is going all out for its 120th anniversary. Following a triumphant turn on the big screen in R.J. Cutler’s 2009 The September Issue, the magazine is out with a stunning coffee table book that celebrates the work of legendary Vogue fashion editors such as Grace Coddington (who is having quite a year), Polly Mellen, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, and Babs Simpson. These behind-the-scenes figures also take center stage in a new documentary, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, now airing on HBO.
Produced and directed by docu-maestros Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the film is a feast of interviews about famous Vogue images (Mellen steals the show with a moving recollection of her now-famous 1981 shoot with Richard Avedon, a naked Nastassia Kinski, and a Burmese python) and musings on the slippery role of a fashion editor, all artfully combined with a running chronology of the magazine through the ages, including the servicey Mirabella interregnum of 1971-1988. “The people who are responsible for the fashion images are the fashion editors,” says a Prada-clad Anna Wintour. “They have always been our secret weapon, so it seemed to me that we could celebrate Vogue, and also, at the same time, celebrate these great editors.”
Pause in your feverish purchasing of sale-priced MZ Wallace totes and discounted perfect gifts from The Future Perfect for a Black Friday breather: “Now and Later” by Andrew Kuo. The New York-based artist–best known for his intrapersonal infographics–created the 30-second video for MTV’s Art Breaks, a series of bite-sized video artworks commissioned by Creative Time and MoMA PS1 that revives the MTV “Art Break” segments from 1985. Having relaunched earlier this year with videos by the likes of Rashaad Newsome and Mads Lynnerup, Art Breaks returns this month (and through April 2013) with a new crop of artists, including Semâ Bekirovic and Cody Critcheloe. In creating “Now and Later,” Kuo looked to Chris Burden‘s 1973 “Through the Night Softly,” in which the artist was filmed wiggling through a galaxy of broken car glass–footage that would later be inserted amidst the commercials on a Los Angeles television station.
Tonight Bravo kicks off a second season of Million Dollar Decorators, the wildly amusing docu-series that follows quiptastic interiors gurus Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Mary McDonald, and Jeffrey Alan Marks as they go about their appointed rounds (Nathan Turner, the fresh-faced kid brother of the bunch, has been pruned from the cast). The season opener follows the progress of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon’s Manhattan dining room to be. The space is Bullard’s “disco frenzy” wink at the red lacquer library that Albert Hadley designed for Brooke Astor, but it’s out with the chintz and in with black patent-leather drapes, a suite of Paul Evans chairs recovered in red leather, zebra-stripey chevrons, and a custom white marble dining table that, at 3,000 pounds, will need to be hoisted through the living room window. “Good grief!” says a wide-eyed Bullard, when his assistant relays the news. “I’ve never, in my entire career, had to use a crane before.” Will the $50,000 table make it safely into the penthouse? Can Bullard locate the man who has apparently absconded with $10,000 and Mellon’s future fireplace? Will McDonald’s mercurial client change her mind, again? Can Ireland and her Diana Vreeland-esque housekeeper find relaxation in wine country? Will a tipsy Ross Cassidy locate the ice cream he seeks? Tune in tonight to find out.
Ze crane! The flaccid crane at One57, slated to be the tallest residential property in Manhattan.
Sandy came, she saw, she conquered–and she made a global megastar out of a building project that already had garnered plenty of buzz among New York real estate mavens and architecture buffs: One57, Extell’s 1,000-foot mixed-use tower designed by Christian de Portzamparc. On Monday afternoon, as the storm winds strengthened, the crane at the construction site buckled with a boom that those in the vicinity at first mistook for a thunder clap. Cut to a frightening shot of the crane’s top portion dangling like a limp tree limb and poised to plummet 90 stories below to the Manhattan thoroughfare of West 57th Street.
On TV, the injured crane and the luxe tower-in-progress got almost as much airtime as drenched, windbreaker-clad correspondents and, as coverage wore on and darkness set in, provided rain-pelted reporters with a few moments of respite from the cameras. CNN’s Piers Morgan located a “crane expert” and then pressed him to concur that a total collapse was imminent. Donald Trump chimed in on Twitter. There were no mentions of Portzamparc (or of Tomas Juul-Hansen, who is masterminding One57′s interiors), only of the “several billionaires” that had already purchased condos in the 95-unit building. Meanwhile, the crane is hanging in there. “Our hope is that tomorrow they’ll be able to find a way to pull it in, and then cable it to the building so it’s not going to fall,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a press conference today.